Greek “big and little” tradition fosters friendship

The pride in representing a Greek organization is something that is passed down from generation to generation, sorority members said.

Within each sorority is a "big and little sister" program that is used to give new members an individual member to rely on as they begin their college experience.

“The big is a person that the [little] should trust,” said Ale Bletran, a senior and President of Alpha Delta Pi. “It’s almost their closest person here on campus. They’re expected to give them the same treatment they got when they were new members.”

The process of pairing big sisters with little sisters varies from sorority to sorority. But all sororities have a period of time that the potential bigs get to know potential littles and it ends with a big reveal.

“What Delta Gamma does for big/little is on bid day we set up ‘anchor mates’ and each big takes up a little and this happens for three weeks,” said Brittany Justice, a junior and big/little coordinator for Delta Gamma. “On the last week we do a week of gifts, that are selected by me, each night before the big reveal.”

Justice said for the reveal she had the bigs buy themselves and their littles matching socks. At the reveal the bigs hid behind a black covering with only their socks showing while the littles had to find the socks that match theirs. Then, the curtain dropped to expose the new member's big sister in the sorority.

Ortega said, “It’s a kind of mutual agreement. [The littles] rate the bigs of their liking and the bigs will rate the top littles they choose.”

After the bigs and littles are matched, the bigs provide merchandise, or gifts, that represents their organization.

“There is no price limit that the [bigs] are expected to spend on their little,” Ortega said. “When it come to initiation the [big] can go all out and spend as much or as little as she wants. It just depends but usually they spend a lot because they love their littles.”

But providing Greek gifts to new members in an organization has a deeper meaning than just presents for a new friend.

“It’s important for the [new members] to have Alpha Delta Pi merchandise because it shows their spirit and dedication to the sorority by affiliating with the sorority full-fleged,” Beltran said.

Katie Garrett, a junior Zeta Tau Alpha and collegiate representative for G-Wear, a company that sells eco-friendly Greek apparel, said Greek pride is a way to market their products.

“I think this company targets directly at sorority members because they want people who are prideful in what they wear,” Garrett said.

Justice and Beltran said they are sorority women who are glad to represent their organizations.

“For me to wear my letters, it’s very important to me because it represents sisterhood,” Justice said. “It represents all of my friends and family that I’ve grown to know in college.”

“Now that I’m a senior, I’ve accumulated a lot of merchandise throughout the years but I’m most proud of having my letters because they’re a constant reminder of my duty to my sorority,” Beltran said.